A Greek human rights group has referred to as on authorities to assist about 70 migrants and asylum-seekers it says have been stranded on a tiny river island on the border between Greece and Turkey. The Greek Council of Refugees informed Newsplaneta Information that contact with the group was misplaced on Wednesday after a younger woman among the many determined individuals was reportedly killed by a scorpion this week.
The 5-year-old woman’s 9-year-old sister was very sick after probably additionally being stung, Vasileios Papadopoulos, president of the group, informed Newsplaneta Information. He mentioned the migrants, a few of whom have been caught there for greater than 20 days, haven’t had entry to meals or clear water, leaving them to scavenge what they will from the forested island.
“I am saying, assist … it is tough to outlive,” a 28-year-old refugee named Bayda mentioned in an emotional audio recording despatched to information and humanitarian teams this week.
“They’re killing us in Syria, in Turkey, on this island, in Greece, in each place on this planet,” she mentioned by means of sobs. “What’s our fault? As a result of nobody can hear us?”
The Related Press reported Thursday that Greek police had mentioned they had been chasing stories in regards to the migrants, however had not been capable of find them because of completely different coordinates being given for his or her location. The police informed the AP that coordinates offered for the migrants had been “exterior Greek sovereignty,” and that they’d requested neighboring Turkey to offer pressing help to a gaggle of about 40 individuals.
The Greek Council of Refugees mentioned Friday that Greece’s assertion raises questions in regards to the standing of the small river island, which is proven on on-line maps as belonging to Greece. They mentioned it was optimistic, nevertheless, that “authorities a minimum of lastly acknowledge the existence of the group, which they’d thus far denied with the ability to discover, regardless of realizing the placement for days and regardless of their professed manned & unmanned search ops to find them.”
“What is going on to occur?” Bayda mentioned within the audio message. “Possibly all of us die within the morning. This island is filled with snakes, scorpions, and quite a lot of bugs. … That is the hell within the earth. I swear, that is the hell within the earth, and nobody can assist us.”
1000’s of individuals from throughout the Center East, Africa and Asia,in Europe, attempt to cross into Greece from Turkey yearly. The tiny island within the river that types the border between Greece and Turkey has been a frequent crossing level, however Greek authorities have been accused of violently pushing migrants again into Turkish territory in current months. The Al Jazeera tv community has reported that Turkish authorities have additionally pressured individuals to cross into Greece.
So-called “pushbacks” — when persons are pressured again into the nation they got here from with out being allowed to say asylum — are unlawful below worldwide legislation. Each Greece and Turkey have denied earlier allegations.
The refugees trapped on the islet in what Greeks name the Evros River have already been pushed forwards and backwards between the 2 international locations, Papadopoulos informed Newsplaneta Information. He mentioned contact might have been misplaced with them as a result of members of the group’s telephones died, or as a result of they have been moved.
On Tuesday, his group and one other rights group, HumanRights360, launched coordinates for a Google Maps location the place they mentioned the migrants and refugees had been caught. That location was on the islet, which the maps confirmed as being inside Greek territory, and the teams appealed to Greek authorities to offer help.
The European Court docket of Human Rights issued an order on Tuesday instructing Greek authorities to not transfer the migrants off Greek territory, and to offer them with humanitarian help. A earlier, comparable order was issued on the finish of July, Papadopoulos mentioned.
“The final two months particularly, because the starting of June, Greek authorities don’t adjust to the European court docket orders,” Papadopoulos mentioned.
Newsplaneta Information has sought remark from each Greek and Turkish authorities in regards to the migrants, however had not acquired replies by the point of publication.
Papadopoulos mentioned as a result of the islet was in a restricted zone, humanitarian organizations couldn’t journey there to offer help unilaterally.
“Save individuals. Save individuals,” he mentioned when requested what his message to each governments can be. “Save this 9-year-old woman.”
Khaled Wassef contributed to this report.
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